Camping Hammocks: What to Look For

camping hammock

Are you looking for a comfortable hammock for camping? Get the best tips for buying a hammock and savor the great outdoors. 

Nothing beats a camping hammock when it comes to lazing away the afternoon or sleeping outdoors. Through the years hammocks have become more popular with campers and backpackers as they’re comfortable, and they also keep dirt and bugs away.

#Width and Length

Hammocks vary in width, ranging from 4 to 8 feet, though 6 to 7 feet is sufficient for a single person or couples. If you’re sleeping alone a narrower hammock will do, but if you move a lot in your sleep a wide hammock is the better choice. But don’t go overboard because a too wide hammock could be uncomfortable.

Length is not as important for hammocks, but just to be sure you should get one that is at least 8 feet long. This should be easy though since most hammocks are in that range.

#Suspension Mechanisms

Hammocks usually have a couple of carabiners for their suspension system. Some hammocks sell the carabiner with the hammock while in others you have to purchase it separately. The webbing strap is one of the more popular options, just make certain they’re at least 0.75 inches wide so the tree doesn’t get damaged.

Nylon ropes and synthetic tree slings are also good, but avoid rope that are overly stretched as they could snap. For a more comfortable time, buy a hammock with several attachment points. The more set up options the hammock provides the more flexible it’s going to be.

#Weight Capacity

Hammocks have varying limits, from 150 lbs. to more than 500 lbs. Look up the specs before you buy. If you’re of average built the typical hammock will do, but if you’re heavily built or plan to cozy up with your partner, get a heavy duty hammock and care for it. Keep in mind the weight support given in product descriptions refer only to static weight. If you use the hammock like a trampoline it will deteriorate.


Hammocks don’t weight much, with the biggest weighing only a few pounds and most just around a few ounces. The narrower and shorter the hammock the lighter it’s going to be, so you have to balance your need for portability with flexibility. When you throw in the suspension system it’s probably going to total 15 ounces at most.


Lightweight hammocks often use nylon because it’s breathable and feels cool on your skin even during those hot summer days. You will also find some cotton hammocks, but they’re meant for home use only. Cotton is heavy, take a long time to dry and hard to transport so it’s not practical for camping. Some hammocks may also use synthetic materials so you may want to check those as well.

Buying a camping hammock is easier than ever, and competition has led to an increase in quality. While they’re capable in good weather, you will need some accessories if it’s windy or chilly. This includes sleeping pads, top quilts or under quilts. For the best results, the insulation should be set under, not inside the hammock.  

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